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Continence (Wee Or Poo): Just The Facts

There is nothing taboo about wee and poo!

The reality is around half a million teenagers in the UK have an ongoing bladder or bowel condition, so it’s much more common than many people realise.

5 facts to help get to the bottom of bedwetting

  1. As the name suggests, bedwetting is when the bladder empties at night during sleep. Basically, when the bladder is full the ‘I need a wee’ message doesn’t get from bladder to the brain and doesn’t wake the person up, so the bladder empties itself while the person dreams on
  2. There are many reasons why this might happen. There may not be enough vasopressin in the body. Vasopressin is a hormone that helps the kidneys make less wee at night, but if there is not enough of this hormone the kidneys carry on churning out wee. If this is the case, doctors can provide medication, which can help
  3. It could be caused by an overactive bladder which needs emptying frequently, often at very short notice indeed. This is an issue both day and night. Doctors can prescribe medication which may help
  4. It could be constipation. Trouble pooing means a full bowel, and a full bowel can put pressure on the bladder – both during the day and night – leading to problems controlling weeing.
  5. Bed alarms can help train the brain to wake up when the bladder is full. They do need lots of commitment and motivation to work but can be a great solution to this uncomfortable problem.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.